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Phillip Hill

Phillip Hill focuses on complex copyright matters with an emphasis on music, film/TV, video games, sports, theatre, and technology.

Phillip’s global practice includes all aspects of copyright and the DMCA, as well as trademark and right of publicity law, and encompasses the full spectrum of litigation, transactions, counseling, legislation, and regulation. He regularly represents clients in federal and state court, as well as before the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, Copyright Office, Patent & Trademark Office, and Trademark Trial & Appeal Board.

Through his work at the firm and prior industry and in-house experience, Phillip has developed a deep understanding of his clients’ industries. He also regularly advises on cutting-edge topics like generative artificial intelligence, the metaverse, and NFTs.

In addition to his full-time legal practice, Phillip serves as Chair of the ABA Music and Performing Arts Committee, frequently speaks on emerging trends, is active in educational efforts, and publishes regularly.

This quarterly update highlights key legislative, regulatory, and litigation developments in the fourth quarter of 2023 and early January 2024 related to technology issues.  These included developments related to artificial intelligence (“AI”), connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”), data privacy, and cybersecurity.  As noted below, some of these developments provide companies with the opportunity for participation and comment.

I. Artificial Intelligence

Federal Executive Developments on AI

The Executive Branch and U.S. federal agencies had an active quarter, which included the White House’s October 2023 release of the Executive Order (“EO”) on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence.  The EO declares a host of new actions for federal agencies designed to set standards for AI safety and security; protect Americans’ privacy; advance equity and civil rights; protect vulnerable groups such as consumers, patients, and students; support workers; promote innovation and competition; advance American leadership abroad; and effectively regulate the use of AI in government.  The EO builds on the White House’s prior work surrounding the development of responsible AI.  Concerning privacy, the EO sets forth a number of requirements for the use of personal data for AI systems, including the prioritization of federal support for privacy-preserving techniques and strengthening privacy-preserving research and technologies (e.g., cryptographic tools).  Regarding equity and civil rights, the EO calls for clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and Federal contractors to keep AI systems from being used to exacerbate discrimination.  The EO also sets out requirements for developers of AI systems, including requiring companies developing any foundation model “that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety” to notify the federal government when training the model and provide results of all red-team safety tests to the government.

Federal Legislative Activity on AI

Congress continued to evaluate AI legislation and proposed a number of AI bills, though none of these bills are expected to progress in the immediate future.  For example, members of Congress continued to hold meetings on AI and introduced bills related to deepfakes, AI research, and transparency for foundational models.

  • Deepfakes and Inauthentic Content:  In October 2023, a group of bipartisan senators released a discussion draft of the NO FAKES Act, which would prohibit persons or companies from producing an unauthorized digital replica of an individual in a performance or hosting unauthorized digital replicas if the platform has knowledge that the replica was not authorized by the individual depicted. 
  • Research:  In November 2023, Senator Thune (R-SD), along with five bipartisan co-sponsors, introduced the Artificial Intelligence Research, Innovation, and Accountability Act (S. 3312), which would require covered internet platforms that operate generative AI systems to provide their users with clear and conspicuous notice that the covered internet platform uses generative AI. 
  • Transparency for Foundational Models:  In December 2023, Representative Beyer (D-VA-8) introduced the AI Foundation Model Act (H.R. 6881), which would direct the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to establish transparency standards for foundation model deployers in consultation with other agencies.  The standards would require companies to provide consumers and the FTC with information on a model’s training data and mechanisms, as well as information regarding whether user data is collected in inference.
  • Bipartisan Senate Forums:  Senator Schumer’s (D-NY) AI Insight Forums, which are a part of his SAFE Innovation Framework, continued to take place this quarter.  As part of these forums, bipartisan groups of senators met multiple times to learn more about key issues in AI policy, including privacy and liability, long-term risks of AI, and national security.

Continue Reading U.S. Tech Legislative, Regulatory & Litigation Update – Fourth Quarter 2023

The American Music Fairness Act (“AMFA”) has been re-introduced in the Senate for this Congress.  Sen. Padilla (D-CA) introduced the bill (S.253) earlier this month, along with Sens. Blackburn (R-TN), Tillis (R-NC), and Feinstein (D-CA).  The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee, on which every cosponsor serves.  Further, Sen. Tillis serves as

Today, the American Music Fairness Act (“AMFA”) will take a step forward as the bill is set for mark up with the House Judiciary Committee.  The Copyright Act provides exclusive rights to publicly perform sound recordings by means of digital audio transmissions (e.g., internet and satellite), and AMFA is the latest attempt to extend such rights to analog audio transmissions (e.g., terrestrial radio). 

Marking up the bill at this late stage of the Congressional term may mean the bill is tacked on to end-of-year spending packages (as with the CASE Act in 2020), or more likely that it will be taken up again next Congress.  With bipartisan and bicameral support of members on the relevant Committees of jurisdiction, AMFA could still move in a divided Congress, making it all the more important for stakeholders to engage now if they want to support or make changes to the bill.

The AMFA Bill

The bipartisan AMFA bill was first introduced in the House on June 24, 2021 (H.R.4130), and its companion Senate bill followed on September 22, 2022 (S.4932).  Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) recently became the House bill’s primary sponsor after its original sponsor Rep. Ted Deutch (D-CA) left Congress.

The bill would amend Section 106(6) of the Copyright Act, which provides the exclusive right to publicly perform sound recordings via “digital audio transmission,” by deleting the word “digital.”  AMFA also attempts to address some criticisms that faced similar predecessor bills.  For example, AMFA proposes low flat fees for certain nonsubscription broadcast transmissions by public or smaller commercial stations, and other fees would be set in rate-setting proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board.  Such rate-setting proceedings would take account of economic, competitive, and programming information, and whether transmissions substitute for or promote record sales, and interfere with or enhance other revenue streams for sound recording owners. Continue Reading CONGRESS TO MARK UP THE AMERICAN MUSIC FAIRNESS ACT